Until now, I haven’t had any experience with tube type radio equipment. My first was during this year’s ARRL 160 Meter CW contest. The experience left an impression. I operated K7MO’s Drake 4-Line rig which seemed to me to have nicer sound than my solid state IC-718. Signals had a little more depth and warmer sound. Problem is, you have to tune the transmitter all the time. In contest search and pounce mode, that can add up to a lot of tuning. I also missed being able to save spots in N1MM because without a computer connection to the VFO, the software has no way to know exactly what frequency you are transmitting on. It seemed to me a bit like having an old, collectable car. Fun to show off and operate, but in the end, it’s still an old car.
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